100 Best Restaurants 2011: Sushi Taro
Comments () | Published January 18, 2011
Happy Hour 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Sushi Taro
Address: 1503 17th St., NW, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202.462.8999
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle, Downtown
Cuisines: Seafood, Sushi, Japanese
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2, open for dinner Monday through Saturday 5:30 to 10. Closed Sunday.
Nearby Metro Stops: Dupont Circle, Farragut North
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Marinated whole baby octopus; thin-sliced Kobe beef; nigiri of eel, yellowtail, sweet shrimp, and salmon; sashimi of uni, scallop, and o-toro black-sesame brûlée; house-made mochi.
Price Details: À la carte sushi $6 to $12, sashimi $15 to $22. Omakase menu $100 to $120, kaiseki menu $75, sushi tasting menu $75, sashimi tasting menu $65.

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

With a makeover two years ago, this place went from Prius to Porsche. The long, narrow quarters that once housed a neighborhood standby now hold a minimalist raw-fish temple with textured wall coverings and linen curtains. Most striking are the three to five chef-designed kaiseki tasting menus and the often-stellar fish, sourced in part from the Tsukiji market in Tokyo.

While some cooked dishes, such as creamy shrimp croquettes, are rewarding, focus on the sashimi and nigiri. This is a place to educate your palate; it’s worth getting over the sticker shock—especially on the list of just-flown-in items—to learn the tastes and textures of, for example, uni (custardy and bracingly briny) and fatty tuna (smooth and meaty). For an à la carte dinner, order in batches to prevent a traffic jam of plates.

Also good: Udon-noodle soup with a poached egg and bonito flakes; house-made tofu in a warm broth with soy, ginger, and scallions (pure comfort food); spicy-scallop and fatty-tuna-and-scallion rolls; nigiri of shrimp, yellowtail, and salmon; scallop sashimi; bands of Kobe beef.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants


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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/18/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews